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Squeezing all you can out of what you already know:
If you can build a table like the one above for deciding to bring an umbrella, can’t you build similar ones foreach of the other inputs? You do know about how often it is cloudy, about how often the weather report calls forrain, and about how often your joints hurt. Can’t you somehow use this information to fill in the blanks whenyou happen to miss the weather report, or you are leaving for an evening meeting and can’t tell if it is cloudy?Yes. With a belief network, you can fill in for what you don’t know today with what you know usuallyhappened in the past.
Cloudy Partly Cloudy SunnyHistorical chances that it will be cloudy
30% 40% 30%
Usual Chance of Rain
How likely your joints are to hurt on any given day
Granted, this information about previous experience is not as good as knowing exactly what is going on rightnow, but
it is a lot better than using no information at all
to make a decision.
Other advantages of Belief Networks
Beyond the reduction in the expense of building a decision or expert system, Belief Networks offer a number of other advantages:
It is easy to explain how a system arrived at a particular recommendation, decision, or action
It is possible to diagnose problems: Belief Networks can be run in multiple directions
With sensitivity analysis, it is easy to understand how changing inputs can affect overall results
Where can I apply Belief Networks?
Belief networks have already been applied in a number of business areas. In each of the examples below, thesystem described would have been impossible with business rules.
Selecting loan opportunities with low default risk
Estimating when equipment will need service, parts or retirement based on sensor input and records
Quickly resolving customer problems via online troubleshooting tools
Diagnosing and troubleshooting on-site cellular networks in real-time
Filtering email to accurately control spam and to highlight critical messages
Controlling autonomous vehicles and their navigation (wheeled, aquatic, aerospace, and others)
Assessing risks and rewards of R&D projects to move resources into the best opportunities